|Role||Experimental Fighter Aircraft|
|Manufacturer||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd|
|Primary user||IJA Air Force|
Design & Development
The Ki-33 was initially produced by Mitsubishi in response to Japanese army specifications for a fighter to replace the existing Kawasaki Ki-10 biplane. In mid 1935 Kawasaki, Mitsubishi and Nakajima were instructed to build competitive prototypes. Mitsubishi, preoccupied with refining the Ka-14 into the A5M fighter and adapting the G3M bomber for series production for the Imperial Japanese Navy, lacked sufficient design capacity to develop another fighter from scratch, and therefore submitted its earlier and unsuccessful Ki-18 design, with comparatively minor changes, as the Ki-18 had proven to be a good fighter aircraft and the reasons for its rejection were based on principles rather than quality. Labeled the Mitsubishi Ki-33, the modified design was powered by a Nakajima Ha-1-Ko engine rated at 555 kW (744 hp) at 3,700 m (12,140 ft). An aft-sliding canopy was added, the aft fuselage decking was raised and the vertical tail surfaces were modified. The prototypes were completed during the early summer of 1936. Service trials from November 1936 until the spring of 1937 proved that the Kawasaki Ki-28 was the fastest of the three contenders, but the Nakajima Ki-27 was by far the most maneuverable, and on this basis was selected by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force.
Data from Famous Airplanes of the World #76: Army Experimental Fighters
- Crew: 1
- Length: 7.54 m (24 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
- Height: 3.19 m (10 ft 6 in)
- Wing area: 17.8 m2 (192 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 1,132 kg (2,496 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,462 kg (3,223 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima Ha1-Ko 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 556 kW (746 hp)
- Propellers: 2-bladed variable-pitch propeller
- Maximum speed: 474 km/h (295 mph, 256 kn) at 3,000 m (9,843 ft)
- Rate of climb: 14.04 m/s (2,764 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 82.1 kg/m2 (16.8 lb/sq ft)
- Power/mass: 0.3653 kW/kg (0.2222 hp/lb)
- Guns: 2× fixed, forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 89 machine guns
- Januszewski, Tadeusz. Mitsubishi A5M Claude. Sandomierz, Poland/Redbourn, UK: Mushroom Model Publications, 2003. ISBN 83-917178-0-1.
- Mikesh, Robert C. and Shorzoe Abe. Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990. ISBN 1-55750-563-2.
- Unknown author. Famous Airplanes of the World, first series, #76: Army Experimental Fighters (1). Tokyo: Bunrin-Do, August 1976.
- Unknown author. Famous Airplanes of the World, second series, #24: Army Experimental Fighters. Tokyo: Bunrin-Do, September 1990.
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